Beyond Mykonos: This roundup of top parties and special events on select islands in the Cyclades is a supplement to my popular Mykonos party scene 2017 post.
This listing includes major events taking place on Ios, Naxos, Santorini and other nearby islands which many Mykonos partygoers visit during summer holidays in Greece. I have added this party listing in response to numerous requests from readers who were wondering where they could find good parties, besides Mykonos, while they are touring the Cyclades.
Please turn to page 2 of this post to see lots more upcoming parties and special events in the Cyclades.
Mastrozannes Restaurant at Agia Marina beach — where we enjoyed fabulous views with the two best dinners of our Andros visit
Memorable meals: We ate exceptionally well during our first-ever trip to Andros last spring, feasting on delicious Greek cuisine at every restaurant where we dined. At almost all of the establishments, either the settings and ambience, or the views, were as impressive and memorable as the meals. As a lucky bonus, we were treated to excellent food as well as particularly remarkable locations, views and atmosphere at two of the restaurants.
This was the case with our favourite place to eat on Andros — Mastrozannes Restaurant near Batsi — where we ate dinner two nights in a row on the taverna’s spacious open-air terrace beside Agia Marina beach. On both evenings (one of which was my birthday dinner celebration), our wonderful meals of tantalizing home-cooked Greek cuisine were topped off with complimentary side servings of superb sea and sunset views, shown in the photos below.
Above are just two of the splendid scenery and sunset views we enjoyed from our table at Mastrozannes Restaurant
Another standout eating spot was Drosia mezedopoleio in the leafy mountain village of Menites near Andros Town. There, we lunched on a variety of savory selections, including a local Andros specialty, frutalia, in a truly sublime and unforgettable setting — a sun-dappled terrace encircled by tall trees, lush vegetation and the sound of streams coursing through the gully below.
I Parea in the heart of Andros Town proved to be a good choice for lunch and dinner, while Archipelagos and O Nonas (both in Chora) and Stamatis taverna in Batsi also served up tasty dinners.
Shade trees and thick vegetation surround the outdoor dining terrace at Drosia mezedopoleio in Menites village, seen here in a photo that appears on the restaurant’s Facebook page
Please click on the link below to continue reading and see more restaurant photos on page 2 of this post .
The main beach at Batsi village on Andros is a long ribbon of golden sand that rings the northern shore of Batsi bay. I took this photo at the southeast tip of Batsi beach, near the town’s waterfront strip and harbour …
… and shot this picture from a hill at the opposite end of the beach. It takes just under 10 minutes to walk the full length of the sand.
Five strands: Travelling to Andros this summer? Batsi village is an ideal base for swimmers or sun worshippers who want to stay within walking distance of several beaches and still have a good variety of places to eat and drink.
The biggest, best and most convenient beach is right at Batsi — a long arc of golden sand that hugs the north shore of Batsi bay. Bars and restaurants are situated only steps away across the beachside road, while it’s just a short stroll from Batsi beach to the town’s main commercial area, which offers many more drinking and dining opportunities.
Four more beaches are within reasonable walking distance of the village, making Batsi a perfect location for beach loving visitors who won’t have a rental vehicle during their stay (which was the case for us during our visit in late May).
Kolona beach is on a small bay directly opposite the village
Kolona beach is located directly across the bay from Batsi harbour (you can see the golden sand crescent from the town’s waterfront), and is about a 15-minute walk from the northwest end of Batsi beach. It’s a scenic walk the entire way, since the route provides extensive views of the entire village and bay area, as well as surrounding mountains and the coast beyond Batsi.
Heading south from Batsi, a 10-minute walk will bring you to Stivari, a strip of rental studios and apartments on a hillside overlooking a small bay. Stivari beach is a small pebble, stone and sand cove that’s more suitable for sunbathing than swimming, but it does offer impressive sea and sunset views, and it’s conveniently straight across the road from O Viomichanos / Stivari Gardens restaurant, where drinks and good food are served on a large tree-shaded terrace.
Stivari is a small sliver of pebbles and sand a short walk south of Batsi
From Stivari, a 5-minute walk up and over the adjacent headland takes you to the Aneroussa Beach Hotel, where a stone staircase near the hotel’s driveway entrance leads down the hill to Delavoyia beach. There actually are three small sandy coves here, separated by narrow outcroppings of smooth rock, and the hotel operates a cafe-bar on the biggest of the beaches.
Agia Marina beach is a further 5-minute walk past the Aneroussa. It’s a narrow band of brown sand with trees at the north end near the entrance to the excellent Agia Marina Taverna. The restaurant’s terrace overlooks the beach and is a great spot to sip a cold beer or dine on delicious home-cooked food while savouring the superb sea and sunset views. (We had two outstanding meals of Greek cuisine here.)
Delavoyia (foreground) and Agia Marina (center right) are about a 20-minute walk from Batsi along a road above the scenic coast
This is a short video I shot showing afternoon, evening and sunset views of Delavoyia beach
There are even more beach-hopping options for travellers with their own transport — several excellent strands are located a short drive away, along the highway linking Batsi to the port town of Gavrio. I will be publishing photos of those beaches in a separate future post.
Click on the link below to see additional photos of all five beaches on page 2 of this post.
Batsi is a scenic seaside village on the northwest coast of Andros
Village views: When I told several regular travellers to Greece that we were planning a trip to Andros, they gave me two conflicting points of view about Batsi, a seaside village and beach resort on the island’s southern coast, about 6 km from Gavrio port. Half of my acquaintances recommended we stay in Batsi, which they had personally stayed in and enjoyed. The other half warned me to avoid it altogether, and to stay only in or near Chora (Andros Town) instead. “Batsi has no soul,” said one. “It’s just a purpose-built resort with no character. It doesn’t feel very Greek there,” said another.
With my friends’ opinions about Batsi poles apart, I did more research and ultimately concluded that it was in fact where we should stay after spending three nights in Chora. But instead of choosing accommodations in the built-up area of Batsi, I booked us into a hotel at a scenic beach less than a 20-minute walk away. (I will be writing about the Aneroussa Beach Hotel in an upcoming post).
Approaching the harbour and the waterfront commercial strip of Batsi during the walk into town from our hotel
I felt apprehensive the first time we walked into Batsi, hoping we wouldn’t be disappointed. Happily, we weren’t — either then or on any of the other two times a day we visited the village. It’s pleasant, it does feel Greek, and it doesn’t have the artificial look and atmosphere of a resort specifically built for tourists (it’s not a place for shopaholics, though — they won’t find streets lined with trendy fashion boutiques or retail stores). We liked it — in all types of weather, no less. There was a mix of conditions during our May 28 – 31 visit — sunshine, clouds, strong winds and even a light rainfall — and we thought Batsi looked nice in all elements.
Click on the arrow in the middle of the image to see video views of Batsi from three different places along the bay. A strong wind was blowing stormclouds over the area when I took the videos, and within a hour there was a short but light shower. Rain or shine, we thought Batsi looked beautiful.